While the road and parks north of Hanalei Bay remain closed for repairs after last April’s flooding, trails in Waimea Canyon and Kokee state parks still offer spectacular vistas of the red-walled, tree-dotted canyon and the verdant, plunging valleys along the Napali coast. Marked overlooks with paved parking make it easy to appreciate the panoramas without hiking, too.
Organic farmers Doug and Genna Wolkon began growing medicinal plants and making teas on a four-acre plot in Kilauea in 2010. Since then their humble farm stand has blossomed into the Kauai Farmacy store, offering a “tea lanai” where visitors can sample elixirs made from ingredients such as mamaki, noni and pineapple sage with a view of the lush gardens and distant mountains. Delve deeper on twice-weekly two-hour farm tours ($55 adults, $10 ages 2–12). 808.828.6525
For gourmet burgers, go to the Coconut Coast. In Wailua, Street Burger Kauai serves 17 varieties that include local grass-fed beef, Niihau Ranch lamb or house-made veggie patties. Kapaa’s Kenji Burger reflects Japanese influences with touches like ponzu aioli, chicken katsu and miso black cod. At Nom, also in Kapaa, try the taro burger or the “Hella Hottie” with fried egg, jalapeño jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and chile pepper ketchup. Street Burger Kauai: 808.212.1555; Kenji Burger: 808.320.3588; Nom: 808.635.5903.
Ninini Point lighthouse, the green mountains fringing Kalapaki Bay and the Jack Nicklaus–designed Ocean Course at Hokuala create the beautiful backdrop to Timbers Kauai, a vacation club in Lihue with luxurious two- to four-bedroom condos and town homes available for rental. From $850 (two-night minimum), 844.815.9193
In Poipu, the equally sumptuous Lodge at Kukuiula is now part of Two Roads Hospitality, which joins the World of Hyatt program later this year (save those points). Guests in its one- to three-bedroom bungalows and cottages have access to the Club at Kukuiula’s otherwise exclusive spa, dining and golf course. From $883 (three-night minimum), 866.901.5204
Travel and features writer Jeanne Cooper fell in love with Marin and the Bay Area as a graduate student at Stanford University. After 20 years as an editor and writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle, she began a freelance career that has taken her from the Austral Islands to Zimbabwe, with many visits to Hawaii in between. Her stories have appeared in numerous national and regional magazines, including Hemispheres, Sunset, San Francisco and Nob Hill Gazette, as well as Marin and Local Getaways. The author of several Frommer’s guidebooks, she now lives on the Big Island, where she’s active in animal rescue. She still enjoys exploring Northern California with her husband and friends.